Theatre N and the Gainsbourgs

Over the past month, I have quickly become a regular patron of Theatre N in downtown Wilmington. This single screen cinema inside an office building is an unusual place. It began life in 2002 specifically to show independent, foreign and specialty films AND (more importantly) bring some cultural life into the city’s downtown. I would say that it succeeds on both fronts. But, with my aforementioned high standards, I would like to see it open seven nights a week, offering a wider variety of programs including live events.

On my most recent visit, there was an unusual coincidence in film programming. While awaiting the start of a film called Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, chronicling the life and times of French musician Serge Gainsbourg, Theatre N happened to run a trailer for the film Melancholia (coming next weekend) which features Gainsbourg’s daughter Charlotte in a supporting role. Subsequently, the bio-pic rolled out, and Charlotte was a clear supporting presence in the film, portrayed by a young actress.

I feel like I want to say more about this coincidence, but the point in posting about it is that I got to thinking about those blurred lines between reality and fantasy, and art and life. I may not have been the only one in the audience who noticed Charlotte in the trailer, but I don’t think everyone there knew of the connection. Conversely, if Charlotte herself was sitting there in the Wilmington audience, would she want to be recognized? Incognito? A brief commentary? The situation was further amplified when I discovered she’d been offered the opportunity to portray her father in the bio-pic, but understandably declined.

Perhaps this coincidence is worthy of further discussion, or perhaps it is… just a coincidence.


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